From the Vicarage September 2018

In the old days it was customary for vicars to take August as holiday, and to disappear to their houses in Capri or Biarritz or Cornwall leaving the curates, plural, in charge. That does not happen so much now for obvious reasons, but I have taken two weeks in August to be at the Edinburgh Festival, not as a spectator but a performer.

My one man show, Confessions, ran for a fortnight at the Pleasance, in the slot where Gyles Brandreth and Nicholas Parsons and other old luvvies tend to be (what does that say about me?) I say one man show, but it isn’t really, it’s an interview show, in which I get the chance to talk at length to people I would normally get maybe eight minutes with on the radio or television. I often come away from those interviews thinking, I wish I had more time, and the show is so named not because they seek absolution for having defaced a library book in 1982, but because there’s something about a long interview format that enables people to open up more than they might do otherwise, even if it is in front of an audience. Also, I suspect the dog collar has its effect on encouraging people to dig a little deeper than they might otherwise. I have often found that saying nothing, just sitting there all vicarly, is like a light to a moth, and out flutter all sorts of interesting things. 


It’s good to talk, to take some time to think about deeds in the past, and those planned for the future. As we turn towards the end the year the mood changes to one of reflection. Spend some time doing that, see what comes up: it may be the beginning of something marvellous. 


Yours in Christ,


Fr Richard.